Chapter 26

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Chapter 26

Ariana

"Cassandra, you heard my dad and Mr. Cross. I have to take a break from my career. Otherwise, I could get shot. On stage. On this world tour."

Cassandra rolled her eyes, waving her hand as if it could brush away what I had just said. She knows perfectly well that the Emmy's was going to be my last appearance for a while.

"Oh, Ariana, what are the odds? You're a pop star! Not a President!"

I sighed. She doesn't get it, does she? Ember was just shot. And she was supposed to be babysitting Preston and his class on a field trip.

"The odds are very likely, considering my family has received several death threats in the past two weeks and my bodyguard was shot on a, supposedly, harmless field trip! Ember barely survived, Cassie!"

Cassandra's lips drew themselves into a thin line. I leaned back in my seat, inwardly coaxing myself to calm down. I'm just as upset about temporarily leaving my career as she is, but I'm not her only client. But, being the money shark that she is, Cassandra pays more attention to her big shot clients. Like me. When I first started singing this summer, my story was hot topic gossip for weeks. The acting First Daughter, overnight pop sensation. I love singing and Cassandra is a great agent but, sometimes, caution has to be used...holy shit, I sound like Ember.

"Very well then. If you insist on temporarily leaving your career, I'll make sure it happens. If that's what you truly want..."

I nodded without hesitation. Ember, Mom, Dad, and Jonathan (back when he was Ember's boss) all agreed it was best for me to lay low when the summer came to an end. When we were flying back to DC before all this chaos began. What happened to the relaxing fall I was hoping for? Wasn't the summer's events enough? FML.

"Yes, Cassie, it is. I'll talk to you soon."

With that, I stood up. The cool autumn air blew lightly, shuffling my hair. The pitcher of iced tea sitting on the table in between us, untouched, moved slightly when I stood up. Standing in the corner of the patio, hands clasped behind his back in the usual way that Ember stands on duty, was her replacement. Rainer Connell. He, unlike Ember, wasn't enrolled in Project N until he turned ten. His parents were rogue operatives that tried to hide but were eventually caught (classified info that I overheard in a conversation between Mr. Cross and my dad. Ember taught me how to eavesdrop and not get caught. Effective and useful.)

"All set with your meeting, miss?" he asked in a formal tone.

No, I'm just walking away because I feel like it, dumbass. I nodded briskly as we walked back inside. When I glanced back, Cassandra was already gone. Good riddance.

(Hey guys! Sorry, it's a stupid chapter. I promise it'll have a bigger meaning later on. *HINT HINT, WINK WINK* Anyway, I'm back at school today, in my study hall. Writing because I have no homework so far. Vote and comment, even though it probably sucks. Bye-Bye!)

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